Sustainable development is at the forefront of commercial property issues as we head into the New Year. Lend Lease Global CEO Tony Lombardo recently spoke of the need for companies to both develop and upgrade buildings with regard to sustainability or be “left behind”. Investor demand for Lend Lease’s recent sale of a 50% stake in the Darling Quarter office complex was largely driven by the development’s sustainability rating Mr Lombardo said, while four of Lend Lease’s funds are now placed in the top 10 of the Global EST Benchmark awards.

So what makes a sustainable building rank among the best? Here is a selection of commercial buildings recognised as 2021’s top examples of sustainable developments.

Burwood Brickworks Melbourne

– Awarded the 2021 Victorian Architecture gong for Sustainable Architecture, following a slew of sustainable architecture awards in 2020.

This project has nothing to do with brick works but everything to do with planting retail therapy on your doorstep in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Burwood Brickworks, 15m east of the Melbourne CBD, is a retail as well as residential precinct 15 kilometres to the east of Melbourne’s CBD. The retail component which is now complete became the country’s first retail building to receive a 6 green star design and As Built certification from the Green Building Council of Australia. Anchored by a major supermarket and liquor store, the retail centre also offers 40 speciality shops, restaurants and a unique rooftop urban garden. This garden is fed by compost made from the site’s waste, and in turn grows produce used in the retail centre kitchens. There is also a six-screen cinema, childcare and medical centre, creating a precinct that is surrounded by green space and a range of residences currently under construction.

What makes it so sustainable: The main building uses 100% renewable electricity and features numerous waste streams to collect lean plastics, polystyrene, food waste, metals and glass.

Burwood Brickworks is in the running to become the world’s first mall to quality for a living building certification.

Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre | Burwood, Melbourne

Monash Woodside Building For Technology And Design

– 2021 AIA Sustainable Architecture Award

This building, which also won the overall award for Public Architecture, impressed the Australian Institute of Architecture award jury like no other, evidenced by the statement: “The universality provided to this building through structure, daylight and amenity, through order in the plan and poetry in the whole, brings to light the architectural discipline like no other building noted by the jury this year.” It features immersive technology, large format teaching spaces and advanced manufacturing laboratories for both students and researchers working on the next wave of advancements in sustainable energy.

The seat of learning is also ranked the largest Passive House-certified project in the southern hemisphere (Passive House Standard based on extremely high energy saving capabilities when compared with regular new constructions). The Woodside Building is viewed as fundamental in Monash’s goal to be net-zero by 2030.

Woodside Building for Technology and Design | Monash University

Olderfleet by Mirvac

– Winner of the 2021 Sustainability Awards for Commercial Architecture (Large, being a Class 5, 6, or 7 building used for professional and / or commercial purposes of over 500sqm in floor size)

Blending the fabulously new with the wonderfully old worked perfectly here: Olderfleet comprises a modern 38-level commercial tower of premium office and retail space integrated with Melbourne’s historically significant Olderfleet buildings. The 1890-constructed building with its Gothic facade was once the hub of Victoria’s wool and agriculture industry. In its modern incarnation, space as well as luxury were prioritised, hence visitors first step into a 30-metre-high lobby punctuated with a striking art installation before proceeding onto such places as the wellness centre, end-of-trip facilities befitting a 5 star hotel, the childcare centre or the underground bar.

Olderfleet was Australia’s first to achieve a Platinum Core and Shell Pre-Certification from the International WELL Building Institute which awards developments for creating healthy buildings and sustainable indoor environments that ultimately improve the wellbeing of those who work within. Everything from the orientation of the façade to the floor plate was designed in order to further achieve a 5 Star Green Star rating, 5 star NABERS Energy rating and 4 Star NABERS Water rating – resulting in rainwater harvesting systems, environmentally construction materials, LED lighting and the use of outdoor air for cooling for extended periods during the year.

Olderfleet by Mirvac — Melbourne CBD Commercial Real Estate